Catton parkrun #272 – “Colder than a penguins undercrackers! ”

A hardy 264 folks turned out to brrrrrun, jog and walk round the park in increasingly wintry conditions this morning. We were delighted to welcome 11 first timers to this hardy bunch. Our tourists today hailed from Longrun Meadow parkrun in Taunton, and Alderham parkrun in Elstree. I hope you had a warm welcome here at Catton, both of you! I don’t know about you lot, but I spent a good 20 minutes under a hot shower attempting to thaw out after this morning’s event. Once the ice sloughed off my back I felt much better.

Somehow despite the conditions being dodgier than a late night kebab on Prince of Wales Road (not that I’d know, I’m far too old for such malarkey) an incredible 38 of you managed personal bests today, including our first finisher Trevor Gannon, who somehow used the conditions to his advantage, romping home in a time of 17:24.

Two of our new runners today were father and son team of Charlie and Kieran Fetherston. I got talking to both before the event today and despite Dad’s thoughts they may not complete, they both managed it in under 40 minutes. Well done chaps, and only nine more runs before your first T-Shirt, Charlie! (Dad you might have to wait a bit longer…)

Big thanks to everyone for your quiet during the run briefing, and equally thanks for not gallivanting over the hedgerows on your way to the start line. As much fun as hurdling is, Catton Park’s junior trees and hedges can’t handle being crumpled under a misplaced Asics!

Oak Lane Watch reported quieter than normal conditions there this morning, so thanks for that. We do appreciate it!

Our future volunteer roster is once again looking decidedly sparse. We desperately need more people for both the 29th and the New Years Day runs. We’re expecting – as the Norfolk “late start” event, we may have a jumbo contingent of runners who are either up late or doing the double with other Norfolk runs. Stephanie is our Run Director for both these events and if we don’t want to find her hiding under the chairs in Heyman Lodge on NYD crying – please consider coming to lend a hand. Steph may be hung over anyway and want to hide under the chairs whatever but let’s not give her an excuse.

Making sure the event went ahead today without a hitch were your following bunch of parkrun pilots! Chris RICHARDSON • Christopher HOWE • Darren WOODWARD • David FIELD • Elizabeth HALFORD • Elliot BEESON • Gill THOMAS • Howard TULLY • James BISHOP • Joseph HOWE • Luke NAPTHEN • Miranda ELLIS • Neil SHIACH • Nicola HINSLEY • Robin TAYLOR • Ruth HOYLE • Sally ASPIN • Sharon CORDEN • Shelley AMES • Theresa CORNISH

Next week, on the 22nd, is our Festive Festival of Festivities for the, uh, Festive Season. Fancy dress is optional but not required. Those of you who are familiar with our Run Director Brett Cornish can expect him to have come up with another monstrosity upon my poor beleaguered eyes magnificent effort. He’s like a speedy Mr Benn (ask your parents). I’m betting on the fairy on top of the tree, personally. Please feel free to dress up, bring cakes, chocolate, mince pies, marmite covered sprouts (yes they exist)… whatever you like. We’ve got a few milestones next week too from some familiar Catton parkrun faces so there should hopefully be snacks aplenty. (Ali Masterson I’m looking at you here. It’s your 100th and I know you know how to bake…. *taps fingers expectantly*)

Annnnnd speaking of Milestones! This week we were happy to welcome three of our regular runners into the 100 club. Tricia Fuller, Helen Hinsley and Roger Madle all fought the cold to achieve run 100! Big congratulations from all of us! Joining the 50 club was Dave Thomson who ran his 5th run with us today to claim his club entry. Well done, and thanks for coming to see us today.

Personal note here from me, I just want to thanks the Friends of Catton Park for always having the coffee and tea flowing from early in the morning. Coffee was really needed before and after today, so thanks to Sue and team!

Right you awesome bunch, I’m off in search of a mince pie and some thermal socks. Have an outstanding week and we’ll see you next Saturday for the 273rd episode of Catton parkrun, and the 12th or 13th episode of “Oh God is Brett really wearing that?!?”

Your thought for the week is “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the person who didn’t park on Oak Lane”. (Thanks Helen!)


PS. Round of applause for Miranda’s Christmas Songs on Facebook please! If you’re one of the few who doesn’t venture onto facey-b I strongly recommend you check them out.

PPS. Dear Santa. I want my Jetpack. Or at least a couple of mini kegs of beer I can strap to my back and pretend. Love James.



Christmas and New Years parkruns in Norfolk

Hi everyone,

In case you're not on Social Media - to let you know the following. If on Christmas Morning you want to get in a parkrun to burn off the mince pies and sprouts for later in the day, head to the following parkrun locations where you'll be sure of a merry welcome! Image may contain: text that says "Christmas Day parkruns: 09:00 Norwich parkrun 09:00 Sheringham parkrun 09:00 Thetford parkrun"

And a week later you get a rare chance to do the double! We'll be hosting a New Years parkrun to get your year started the way you want to continue it, at a later start time of 10:30am. That should give most a chance to take part in our friends at Brundall's event, that is starting at 8:30am. Or, you could run and volunteer, volunteer and run, volunteer and volunteer, run then take part in the Wymondham 10k... the possibilities are, if not endless, pretty good.

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Catton parkrun #271 – “Hets right breezy hen tut bor?”

300 People turned up Saturday morning to experience more wind than the aftermath of a sprout eating competition. In this hardy bunch we were pleased to welcome 18 first timers and tourists from Kings Lynn and Gorleston. We also had some more local yokels from Norwich, Blickling and Brundall. Welcome all! I had the pleasure to talk to one of the Norwich Road Runner first timers who said that they really enjoyed it, please come back soon!

This week we had the Norwich Road Runners in attendance to promote #RunAndTalk for mental health. Dave Thomas from NRR was even on camera with Anglia News to talk about the project, so see if you can get a copy of Saturday evening’s Anglia news and you may see yourself in the background (I sucked my tummy in for ages just in case!). The wind caused its problems even for this event with the gazebo brought by the Road Runners going on a short flight into the course – despite being pinned down more than Butch and Sundance at the end of their movie. Thankfully no damage caused to the gazebo, course or runners. But it does show how bad the wind was today!

Despite the blowy conditions, 22 of the participants were able to record personal bests today, which personally I think is amazing. The wind was some kind of meteorological oddity – no matter which way I ran, the wind was somehow in my face! So any pb on a day like that is a great effort, outstanding!

The breeze unfortunately also took out our PA system, so credit to David Parker, our MVP volunteer, whose talents even extend to being a speaker stand. We had to set up the PA system back near the lodge which seemed to cause the chatter during the briefing to pipe up again. We really don’t want to beat you over the head with this – but please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar and hundreds and thousands and icing on top, please don’t talk during the briefing. I’m in my 40’s and already partly deaf, I can’t hear a thing if there’s background chatter. Eh? What was that? Oh, about 4:20 PM? Wait? A can of condensed milk? What? I can’t hear you.

OAK LANE. Enough said. I heard some chatter near the lodge a couple of weeks ago saying “There’s nothing that they can legally do to stop parking there…”. Well, that’s true. There isn’t. But if the Oak Lane residents get fed up enough then I’m certain they speak to the parish council. And we want to keep our neighbours happy. Let the following picture demonstrate…

Expanding Brain Meme | PARKING ON OAK LANE PARKING ELSEWHERE PARKING AT THE REC GROUND RUNNING, WALKING OR BIKING TO PARKRUN | image tagged in memes,expanding brain | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

*Falls on knees and makes begging expression*

Now the mid-report moan is over, onto happier matters. :) One entry in the clubs and milestones to report, Mark Garrett from the Norwich Road Runners achieved his 50th parkrun today. Brilliant, get that red T-shirt and wear it with pride! One of our junior runners, Ashley Pearce, ran his 10th run with us and joined the junior 10 club! Well done! One major milestone to report that's (mostly) non parkrun related... Catton parkrun Oberkommandant, Event Director and all round nice chap Dan Goodwin tied the knot today with his fiancee Nikki. Much love from all of us. Dan still found the time to go for a run round Catton park before the event today!

So many of you are hovering around the next big step up… go get em!

Fun fact, since Catton parkrun started, we’ve had 7,486 participants, who between them have completed 66,668 parkruns covering a total distance of 333,340 km.. Between us we’ve run 8.3 times round the equator! :O

Happy to say our volunteer roster for December is starting to look a lot healthier, but we still need – always need – more help. As I said before, even if you’re suffering from your Christmas excesses, we can still use your assistance. Feel free to take in those big gulps of fresh air while hoping that headache goes away. Standing out in the breeze and hoping they didn't land up in Oz today were: Radley FENN • Ben SNELLING • James BISHOP • David PARKER • Jennie LEON • Stephen DAWSON • Sophie KENDALL • Elizabeth HALFORD • Carolyn LAWLER • Simon LAWLER • Erena PETERS • Darren WOODWARD • Howard TULLY • Emma WAYMAN • Sue EAGLE • Chris RICHARDSON • Miranda ELLIS • Annette GREEN • Katie FENN • Katie DAVIES • Lucy BIRKETT • Owen DAVIES • Iona DAVIES • Richard LINGLEY • Luke NAPTHEN 

Right – that’s it from me this week. Hope you all have a fab one and we’ll see you next week for edition 272 of “Who wants to run up this bloody hill again??”.

Your thought for the week – “Do, or Do Not, there is no Try. Any chance you could Do Not park on Oak Lane? Ta.”

See you soon!



Norwich Road Runners – #RunandTalk – December 8th event

Hi Everyone,

Just in case you visit here and haven't seen our Facebook post, our friends at Norwich Road Runners will be with us tomorrow (08/12/2018) to host a #RunandTalk event, regarding mental health and the benefits of exercise and social interaction. You don't have to run, there will be lots of walkers! NRR are welcoming everyone to come and have a cuppa and a chat afterwards.

Mental health is a subject close to many of our hearts. Mine included. Please come and visit us tomorrow at 9 AM.



Catton parkrun #270 “Consideration” – 01/12/2018

The sky got darker and darker over the course of this week’s run, but thankfully the rain held off until the very end for the 296 of you who jeffed, ran, walked and skipped (you never know) your way round Catton park this week! Almost as much of a result as opening your first advent calendar window. We had 14 first timers, including tourists from as far afield as York and Leicester, and closer tourists from Cambridge and Mulbarton. We are happy to be able to report that even with the course conditions getting ever more slippery, 41 participants got personal bests. Trail shoes for the win! Well done all!

Those of you who were there at the start will have seen our Event Director, Dan, have a rare grumble and ask for a bit of consideration. I’ve been asked to cover the main points here, so please give it a read. :) It’s not in any way, shape, form or fact any kind of telling off, it’s simply a reflection of the comments that Dan, Shelley and the core team have received and noticed.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that the run briefing is an important part of parkrun. It gives everyone news about the park conditions, special events and information affecting that week’s run. There have been multiple times recently where people have sadly decided to keep flapping their gums through the briefing. We don’t mind this but if you’re not going to listen to the briefing – please go elsewhere while the briefing is on. Consideration, please. We had some comments about our 4 legged barkrunners making a noise during the briefing too – it’s a little harder for us to do anything about them!

Secondly, the newly planted hedgerows by the startline have been repeatedly crushed by people making their way to begin. These are now strictly off limits. Please go around them to make your way to the line. We have a good relationship with the Trust and Catton Park, and they expect our presence to cause reasonable wear and tear to the pathways. What they don’t expect is us mindlessly trampling over newly planted shrubs and hedges that will eventually grow to provide more greenery to the paved area. Please, please go around. There is – as you may have noticed – a new post about 80 meters further back. If damage keeps being caused, the start line may be moved there. Please, be considerate!

Thirdly, parking. Not only on Oak Lane (and trust me, If you’re tired about reading / hearing about it, we’re equally as fed up with typing it and saying it!) but also the small car park at the front of the park just off Oak Lane. You *MUST* leave enough space for an Ambulance to attend and enter the park. There’s been cars parked right on the corner entrance, leaving only a narrow gap to enter the car park from – too narrow for an Ambulance to get in. If one of us needs that Ambulance you don’t want to be the person who’s preventing prompt medical attention, do you? We have needed an Ambulance in the past at our event and while we hope the day never comes again, the chances are eventually it will. Please, have some consideration. Run, Walk, Bike, Bus or Jetpack to parkrun if you can. We can always find space for bikes and jetpacks. Especially jetpacks. Seriously, it’s almost 2019… where’s my jetpack? I’m 43. I was promised a jetpack when I was 8.

Annnnnnnnnd finally. Consideration for other parkrunners, please. Faster runners, you please go around slower runners at this event. We are blessed with space to go around, either side, sometimes even above other runners (jetpack!) who aren’t at your pace. Don’t scare them by shouting or expecting them to move, you can see them, they can’t see you. If you’re a barkrunner, please keep your owner on a short lead, even if it means you have to slow down a bit. They only have two legs to your four and probably spent last night drinking beer or wine while you had a yummy jumbone (Other dog snacks are available) and a belly scratch. Stay close to your human!

Speaking personally, what was awesome for me was the round of applause that almost all of Dan’s comments were received with. I love the atmosphere at Catton and it’s why I keep coming back and putting myself through the pleasure of huffing, swearing and crying on our upwards flat section x2 every week. The warm reception to what could be considered possibly negative commentary was brilliant.

And now onto our club announcements. Joining the unofficial 200 club was Andy Evans. No T-shirt for this one Andy, but honestly, what a great achievement. Running 1000 km on Saturday mornings is no easy task! Joining the 50 club this week were Jonathan Jarrold, Thomas Nudd, Anthony Wall and Dawn Cook!

Manning the scanners, pushing the stopwatches, checking the lists (twice?) and ensuring safety this week were the following 25 hi-vis heroes! (You can take me out of the list, I’m wearing a blue T-shirt and nice and warm with a cup of tea on Sunday afternoon but you know what I mean….)

Mark BETTS • Dan GOODWIN • Peter KEAN-COCKBURN • Stephen MOSELEY • Ian EDWARDS • James BISHOP • Gary GANNON • Peter SHACKLETON • David PARKER • Jennie LEON • Louise OAKHAM • Sophie KENDALL • Erena PETERS • Darren WOODWARD • Ruth LEARY • Joseph HOWE • Christopher HOWE • Sharon CORDEN • Ben HUTCHINGS • Derek JARVIS • Miranda ELLIS • Stephanie WENN • Nicola HINSLEY • Caroline WICKHAM • Daniel WHITMARSH

Sadly our roster for the next few weeks is currently looking thinner than my wallet in the run up to Christmas. Please, come recover from your over indulgences with a nice dose of fresh air and help the event happen. We can’t run without you! Going back to what Dan was saying – it’s all consideration. If every runner / walker / jeffer could take the time to volunteer three times per year, we would never need to ask. Ask not what parkrun can do for you, ask what you can do for parkrun!

I’ll leave you with my thought of the week. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. And please don’t park on Oak Lane”. (Partly Mark Twain).

Have a great week all!


PS. Jetpacking to parkrun isn’t a thing. I know that. But in 2018 it really should be. :(

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